Monthly Archives: February 2010

Playing Now: Oklahoma City Children’s Zoo

All articles found in the Spring 2010 edition of ZooSounds

Want a sneak peek of the latest multi-million dollar exhibit at the Oklahoma City Zoo?  You are in luck!  I have five articles that reveal everything from the names of the twelve new goats (all named after Oklahoma towns, like Gotebo and Oolagah) to that all important question, “Where’s the bathroom?”  

The greatest feature about the redesgined Children’s Zoo is that children can experience natural play in a forest, streambed or a backyard garden.  And the barnyard is filled with rare and endangered American livestock that kids can touch.  The entire exhibit is intended to put families back in touch with nature.  It will open to the public on March 12th.

New Children’s Zoo IntroVirtual Tour of Children’s ZooMeet the Stars of Children’s ZooFinding Your Way Around Children’s ZooIt Takes a Village to Raise a Children’s Zoo

One last note; I had the honor of helping write the animal I.D. signs for Children’s Zoo.  I’m particularly proud of the idea that each sign can be sung to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” (although the staff may hate me after a few days ). Here’s a preview.  Go ahead and sing it out loud. 


Sheep flock together, as a rule.

Soft hair’s sheared off to make wool.

Moms are ewes, and Dads are rams.

Their favorite food is plants.

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Filed under Published Article Announcement, Zoo

Extreme (Emotional) Makeover

This week, I had the privilege of being a member of the media, covering the ABC filming of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Oklahoma.  When the show airs this spring, I will join viewers as they cry their way through this heart-wrenching episode. 

 Yes, this show always makes me an emotional wreck, but something about seeing it in person was so very profound. 

 I mean, how many times in your life have you seen someone truly dance in the street from sheer happiness? 

 Or cry tears of thanksgiving because complete strangers poured over 50,000 hours of time into making life better in just one week?     

 I’ve read about pure joy, but I think I’ve rarely witnessed it. 

 So, although it was great fun to see the celebrities…although my body tired from hours of standing in the freezing temperatures…although I will pour more hours into writing stories about this event…

I will always remember the mother who danced and cried at the same time.

The Dance (Courtesy Ideal Homes website)




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Filed under Inspiration for Writers

5 More Things I Learned About Nancy Drew

 (Continued from previous post “Nancy Drew is 80!)

6.   Modernizing Nancy:  All books prior to 1956 have original text.  After that, text was revised to be more modern (no more high heels while sleuthing, different type of car, etc.). 

7.  Nancy Leaves the Country…: The first time Nancy traveled out of the United States, to Canada, was in the book Message in the Hollow Oak.

8.  …and Travels the World:  Collector Lea S. Fox owns over 3,500 Nancy Drew books—all foreign editions, in 27 languages.  The covers are sometimes drastically different than what we are used to seeing.  French children grew up with green-spine books, and the Swedish had red-spine books.

9.  Don’t Be Deceived by Ebay Photos:  Ebay has become an unreliable source for the serious collector.  Many sellers are using stock photos, so the condition may be quite different, or not reflect those important interior details (like endpapers and illustrations) that collectors discriminate between.

10.  Editor Secret Revealed:  One editor of the Nancy Drew series was hired under mysterious circumstances.  Many years and one lawsuit later—she discovered why.  Her first name was Nancy and she’d attended Drew University.

 Again–it’s not too late to read join the Web Conference, which is archived at  If you are a fan of series books, it will be nice nostalgic trip.

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Filed under Resources for Writers, Uncategorized

Nancy Drew is 80!

It’s Nancy Drew’s 80th Anniversary!  Instead of growing older, she’s grown younger.  As publishers continue to introducer her to new audiences (with hopes of creating continued followship), she can be seen in graphic novels, computer games, and spin-off series that range from Nancy’s elementary to college years. 

 This week, I participated in a wonderful Nancy Drew Web Conference.   Kudos to Jennifer Fisher, the Nancy Drew fanatic who put together this amazingly diverse Web Conference (which also featured the Hardy Boys).  Each day, three guest speakers shared essays and photos on various topics, which ranged from cover artwork to collector tips. 

 5 Things I learned from the Nancy Drew Web Conference


  1. She’s Been Busy the Last 80 Years!:  Nancy Drew has solved over 500 cases–but she never solved a murder until 1980. 
  2. What’s Hot in Collecting:  Collectors tend to focus on books from the era when they grew up reading Nancy Drew.  As the oldest books see less circulation—the hot commodity is now the yellow-covered books from the 60s and 70s.  (That’s what I grew up on!)   
  3. Writing Clue #11:  Penny Warner, author of The Nancy Drew Handbook, suggested that writers “Make the situation hopeless…[then, like Nancy] she must find the courage to go on, make another decision, and get herself out of this devastating trouble.”
  4. Nancy’s Secrets are Archived:  Many records from the Stratemeyer Syndication (the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boy, etc., original creator) are on file at the New York Public Library in the Manuscript and Archives Division.  For any of you New Yorkers looking for volunteer work—much of it still needs to be inventoried (wish I lived closer). 
  5. Nancy Shows Brief Romanticism:  In the 1980s books, The Phantom of Venice and The Bluebeard Room, the usually-aloof Nancy Drew falls victim to a hunky news reporter and a rock star.  Quite different from her platonic relationship with boyfriend, Ned Nickerson

 It’s not too late to read join the Web Conference, which is archived at  You can register ($20) at anytime to access all 24 articles.  It was delightful–I highly recommend it. 

 Check out my next blog posting, which will be 5 More Things I learned from the Nancy Drew Web Conference!


Filed under Resources for Writers